Most of us have experienced neck tension or pain at one time or another. That sharp pain or annoying tightness that won’t go away! This is a very common complaint – in fact, the chance that you will have neck pain at some point in your lifetime is nearly as high as 50%!
Neck pain is often caused by poor posture or degenerative changes to the cervical spine. The result is stiff muscles in your neck and shoulders, pain and limited mobility (anyone have to use their mirrors when reversing the car because they can’t turn their neck?!).
It can range from the annoying to the debilitating. Some of the common reasons are:
Common CAUSES OF NECK TENSION
- Poor posture: constant strain on your head and neck due to forward head carriage, text neck, desk work
- Mental and emotional stress: psychological overload
- Inflammation: systemic inflammation in the body due to a poor diet, or disease process
- Injuries: for example, whiplash or a strained muscle
Now before we get into what we can do to help alleviate your neck pain, we can’t go any further before talking about text neck and technology!
There is no denying that technology has transformed the way we live, but we are spending more and more time glued to our mobile devices.
Australians spend 10 hours and 24 minutes on average engaging with their mobile devices every day.1 Within five minutes of waking up in the morning 35% of us check our phones, and 70% use phones during mealtimes with family and friends.2
This excessive reliance on digital devices is taking a toll on our bodies.
Looking down hunched over mobile devices puts excessive strain on the neck which can cause neck pain.
Get of your phone! (after you finish reading this blog)
THE THORACIC SPINE
In our opinion, a prominent reason for neck tension and pain is often a lack of mobility of the thoracic spine. The thoracic spine is designed to move by rotating, flexing and extending, however the opposite is often the case in our current every day lives. We have turned into marathon desk workers whose poor posture is increasingly limiting the functional mobility of the spine.
There are a number of paths to relieve the pain, dependent on the individual. We would highly encourage you to see an integrative health professional, to gain a greater understanding of the root cause. However the following is a favourite of the exercises we give our clients to help alleviate neck pain, by improving the mobility and the flexibility of your thoracic spine.
The One Easy Exercise to Help Alleviate Your Neck Pain Fast!
THE ‘WASHING MACHINE’ EXERCISE
- Sit comfortably with your feet flat on the ground, or cross-legged on the floor.
- Place your hands on your shoulders and keep your arms parallel to the ground.
- Twist your whole body around (including neck) to the left and take a deep breath in, then twist around to the right and exhale.
- Keep repeating this motion and increase the speed to a comfortable rate. Remember to keep on breathing powerfully.
- This exercise is best done for at least 2-3minutes.
You should feel an improvement in your neck pain immediately if the lack of mobility in your thoracic spine was contributing to your neck tension.
Are you suffering from pain or injury?
Do you want to improve your outcomes and fast-track your results?
To book an appointment with an Open Space integrative practitioner, give us a call on 08 9336 1180 today.
 ‘Australian consumers spending more than 10 hours of every day on their digital devices’, 2016, Ernst & Young, www.ey.com
 Mobile Consumer Survey 2017: The Australian Cut, Deloitte, https://www2.deloitte.com/au/mobile-consumer-survey